They say that ‘showing up is half the battle.’ If that’s true, there’s still a bit of work at getting the most out of attending a large conference. As a follow-up to Part 3 of this special NAAAP International Convention series, Schema Magazine asks advice on how to have a successful conference experience. Luck can be a part of anyone’s success, but it never hurts to be more intentional. After all, what we learn in Part 3 is that success happens when “preparedness and opportunity meet.”
What are your top 3 tips for networking at a conference?
- Network because you want to meet new friends, not because you want something out of them. Be genuinely interested in everybody you meet, not just people you want something from.
- Having one or two meaningful conversations is far more fruitful than having 20 vacuous ones.
- Lose the business cards. If you’ve made a positive impression on somebody and they really want to get a hold of you, they’ll find you.
- Be genuine, and curious about a person- that is what networking is all about. Make people fall in love with your personality and they will be more inclined to help you.
- Don’t wait till you are in the event to network. Strike up a conversation in the hallway- or elevator. One never knows who people are until you introduce yourselves.
- If you see others that want to join the conversation you are in, pause and say hello. Bring them up to speed on what your chatting about and then ask them to introduce themselves.
- Be yourself.
- Have an agenda (e.g. to share 15 business cards, meet 20 people, invite 10 people to an event, etc.)
- Have fun.
- Meet everyone, young and old alike. You never know who you’ll meet that may one day benefit you greatly, and ‘benefiting’ doesn’t mean you getting something from her/him. It could mean that what you give to her/him may teach you something about yourself that you never knew and that is a benefit in itself.
- Bring LOTS of business cards.
- Be prepared to share a lot of yourself. Open up to the people at the Convention! We’re all good people there, connected by one common bond – the desire to see all of us succeed together!”
- Don’t put your mouth directly on the water fountain. The other kids will talk.
- Smile a lot and be approachable.
- Talk to people and be yourself.
- It ain’t all about shoving your business card into everyone’s hand. Don’t be so intense. You scare me when you look like that.
- Don’t be afraid to pronounce someone’s name incorrectly – they probably won’t get yours right either!
- Business cards
- Listen, listen, listen
- Keep in contact with people you meet at the conference (keep your options open)
- Be happy and passionate about what you’re doing. Then people will remember you.
- Don’t talk about work all the time – have fun!
- Make your first stop the MillerCoors recruiter booth!
- Don’t be shy, approach people you are interested in speaking to and ask for a business card and hand them yours.
- Attend the numerous learning sessions at NAAAP and have fun!
Fabian De Rozario:
- Bring your business cards – lots of them.
- Smile, and say hello, and chat with as many people as you can. Chat enough to discover at least one thing you have in common with that person.
- Attend as many programs as possible at the conference. Max your chances of connecting with others.